“Above all, don't lie to yourself. The man who lies to himself and listens to his own lie comes to a point that he cannot distinguish the truth within him, or around him, and so loses all respect for himself and for others. And having no respect he ceases to love.”
It’s been weeks.
No turn ups at Karate or Dance none in the last week at school.
Not a word.
Not a peep.
Not even lawyers correspondence.
So I have been happily focusing on rebuilding some sort of career. Slow going but I’m optimistic.
I can be that, when I’m out of the trenches, when I’m not in the firing line.
But this past week he has haunted me. Don’t ask me why, but my thoughts return to him over and again.
The questions return also.
Perhaps there’s a small part of me that feels like I’m in the eye of the storm. Or maybe I’m just not getting enough sleep. <She smiles>
It's school holidays, I’ve been trying to apply for jobs, fill in financial forms for the lawyer. I’ve finished my book and sent it out there; along with a first chapter and proposal for this one. Then I apply for more jobs, pitch more editors.
In between I play with my girl, take her to movies, take her grocery shopping, to the park with the dog, to the library.
We have cooked breakfasts most days and when she’s home I’m breaking off to prepare meals and hang washing every couple of hours.
So at night, when she's finally in bed, I’m ever so greedy for ME time and I sit and watch movies or read too late.
How could he ever have thought I wanted to hoard her for a bigger stake?
What an idiot.
No one wants to be a 24/7 single parent.
But its been years since he's done any of the heavy lifting so he wouldn’t know that.
He never had to wash and dry and fold her clothes every other day, he never had to do that for himself. He never had to start up a vacuum cleaner either, or clean toilets...
He never had to take her shopping for clothes because she’d grown out of everything before the end of the season. Three hours of complaining and dragging feet that starts in the first store.
He never had to take her to the dentist or the orthodontist or even syringe her ears.
So yeah, in his experience picking her up with a packed case of clean folded clothes & toiletries, her meds measured out in little boxes and her homework all done, he might think it was easy.
Before the mention of any cash value in having her overnight, he wasn’t that fussed with the suitcase scenario either.
When I think of him leaving that lawyers office spouting off about how we could do a 50/50 thing and she could stay at his for a week then mine for the next.
I was wondering how that would work with his job, let alone that he’d have to actually wash her clothes, bathe her, prepare lunch boxes; brush her hair each day.
Like dealing with her eczema, hair brushing is a chore and a bore; She came back from their January holiday with dreadlocks.
But now he doesn't bother. He wont spend supervised time with her even with his own friends and I wonder about that. Every day I look at Lily and she makes me laugh,stubborn as he is, I wonder how can he not see her?
Sure, he's always been one for; 'its my way or the highway' and this is definitely a case of it not being on his terms. But also, there's no cash value in being with her without overnight stays. I don't understand how he can tell her therapist that he cant imagine his life without her, then he chooses absence. Well I suppose if I were acting out that part, I'd follow through. But follow-through has never been his strength.
No mystery there really, Pollyanna nailed it; forget his words - just mark his actions.
Sorry I don’t mean to make this a moan-fest. It just stuff that’s been running through my mind. Still taking stock of all the pieces of this puzzle and trying to make them fit.
I’m still trying to work him out – even knowing that isn't possible.
I puzzle over his rapt expression when he got this new job and how he thanked me over and over, for my support. He fully acknowledged all that I'd sacrificed; my home town, my family, my own career - so he could have a child and keep his high paid career and his status.
I remember him saying “That’s it. It’s your turn now!”
Yep exclamation marks were flying through the air while he promised to make calls, and send emails. He made a vow of reciprocated help and support; “like you’ve done for me,” he enthused.
So as my thought keep returning to him, I keep reflecting on the ways he fooled me, and kept fooling me, all those broken promises; insults added on the injuries of countless lies.
Lily seems to have seen through that with ease and efficiency I lacked.
She rarely mentions him, which I find surprising, but when she does it's often a reflection on broken promises. Or shouting.
But we 're not the only ones; how badly he has fooled himself, let himself down - and still does both.
Fooled himself about the person he is now, about the kind of father he is now.
And about the person he believes I am.